Jordan Peagler, Esq., co-founded MKP Law Group, LLP, because they believed that their clients rightfully deserve “first-class legal representation regardless of case-value.” The firm’s team of lawyers understand full well that clients give them the privilege of handling their personal injury claims, which is why they will fight for the case as though the claim was their own. The firm has also shown firm dedication to justice by providing pro bono legal services throughout Los Angeles county.
At MKP Law Group, Jordan Peagler and other partners give each of their clients their undivided individual attention, which they might not get at other firms. The attorneys at MKP talk to their clients personally and are always available to respond to their questions or concerns promptly.
Jordan Peagler, as well as the other attorneys at MKP, have battled with insurance companys for many years, taking on several claims that have been denied by these companies and ending up winning money for their clients. They have obtained settlements and awards for cases that other attorneys have rejected beforehand because there was little hope of recovery.
For Jordan Peagler’s work, he has been named one of The National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40. He also enjoys a 10.0 rating at Justia, and a 9.4 at Avvo. Moreover, Jordan has also been featured in several publications, such as Spectrum Business, Forbes, and Business News Daily.
Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Jordan Peagler: I think what makes our firm stand out is our relationships with our clients.
We are not a huge, national firm with dozens of attorneys and thousands of clients. At those types of law firms, clients are often treated as file numbers. There is no effort to get to know the client and how their injuries have affected them and their families personally. Clients are quickly lost in the shuffle and their files just sit on desks for months on end. As a smaller firm, we don’t have the luxury of taking our clients for granted.
At MKP Law Group, LLP, we take pride in making ourselves personally available to our clients and keeping them in the loop as much as possible. Most of my clients know my personal cell phone number. Instead of waiting for clients to call us asking for a status update, we ourselves often call clients to give them an update and explain the status of their case so that they are fully informed. I also try and get to know my clients individually, as this familiarity allows me to better represent them and speak to how their injuries have changed their lives.
For example, one of our first cases was representing an elderly woman who hurt her hand in a car crash. The client was very soft-spoken. Trying to get information about her injury and the impact on her life was difficult. Speaking with her on the phone was getting me nowhere so I asked if I could visit her at her home on a weekend. The client was not sure why that would be necessary but agreed to the visit after I persisted.
At her house, I met her family and got to see her world. For the first time, I could actually see how the injury had changed her life for the worse. I had kept asking how her personal life had been impacted and if there were any hobbies she could no longer pursue as a result of the accident, but she kept just saying “I don’t know” or “I can’t think of any.”
While I was in her home, I noticed a sewing machine in her living room and asked her about it. She said her hand injury prevented her from sewing, which was one of her greatest hobbies.
Eureka! Had I not gone the extra mile to visit the client at her house, I would never have learned about her inability to sew, which greatly added to the value of her case at mediation.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Jordan Peagler: It all boils down to feeling invested in the work you do.
Getting to know clients personally invests you in the outcome of their case, and not just on a financial but on a personal level.
When I’m connected to a case because I care about the client, as opposed to just trying to get paid, it keeps me motivated to get the best possible outcome for the client. Especially in heavily litigated cases that can take years to resolve, being invested in the client helps prevent the burnout that can creep in over time.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Jordan Peagler: When I started my law firm, I had a basic understanding of the business component of running a legal practice. A law firm is a business at the end of the day and needs to be managed and operated like any other business, which includes budgeting, hiring employees, and obtaining commercial insurance coverage. So while I had an elementary grasp of the business side of running a law firm, there were many things with which I was unfamiliar and needed guidance. Luckily I was introduced to an attorney who had built a successful practice who has provided a lot of advice for both the legal and business sides of running a firm.
This attorney has always made himself available to be asked questions about specific litigation questions and business questions. In particular, he shared his business strategy in regards to marketing. Personal injury is a very competitive field with large markets, like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. He taught me to target the less sought after localities like San Bernardino or Tucson as opposed to the larger, more saturated markets. This allows the firm to get more return on their marketing investment.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The title of this series is “How to take your company from good to great”. Let’s start with defining our terms. How would you define a “good” company, what does that look like? How would you define a “great” company, what does that look like?
Jordan Peagler: A good company is one that is well-organized and operates with the interest of their customers in mind so as to deliver positive results. Good companies deliver satisfactory results for their customers.
A great company is one that goes above and beyond what is expected of them by their customers. A great company has a strategic vision for growth while not sacrificing attention to detail in order to serve the needs of the customer. A great company delivers exceptional results for their customers.
Jerome Knyszewski: What would you advise to a business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?
Jordan Peagler: Sometimes the best way to improve your business is to take a step back. Oftentimes managers and business owners get so immersed in the fine details of the day-to-day aspects of running the company that they lose sight of the bigger picture.
Consultants can be expensive but having a trained set of eyes examining your company’s business practices, budget, supply chain, etc. can help finetune things. Delegating more minor and tedious tasks to subordinates, or hiring additional staff to do so, are also options business leaders can take in order to focus on the macro issues that will help restart growth.
Jerome Knyszewski: Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?
Jordan Peagler: Diversifying income sources seems to have been the best solution our company has implemented during the recent recession.
Because traditional income sources for many companies have become more inconsistent, diversifying the ways your company makes money is crucial. Most law firms rely on client referrals for new cases and new clients but they can be sporadic.
Our firm has recently focused on investing in targeted advertising and search engine optimization to get more traffic to our website and in turn more new cases. This has provided us with a new and multi-faceted approach to getting new clients.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Jordan Peagler: The most underestimated part of running a company is the pressure you feel. When you are the decision-maker and govern a business, the pressure is on you to deliver and you feel it because there is no one else to blame if things go poorly. If the company is stalling it’s on you to make sure things get back on track. If the company is doing well it’s on you to make sure things get even better. The pressure can be a good thing, though, as it helps motivate you to ensure the company succeeds.
Jerome Knyszewski: Great customer service and great customer experience are essential to build a beloved brand and essential to be successful in general. In your experience what are a few of the most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience?
Jordan Peagler: In my experience, letting our clients know that we truly value and support them makes all the difference.
Picking up the phone and calling them to advise them as to the status of their case or work order keeps them informed and shows them that progress is being made. Making them feel at ease by explaining the process and what to expect contributes to a better customer experience. Addressing questions or resolving issues quickly helps ensure that the client feels valued and like a priority instead of a burden.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are your thoughts about how a company should be engaged on Social Media? For example, the advisory firm EisnerAmper conducted 6 yearly surveys of United States corporate boards, and directors reported that one of their most pressing concerns was reputational risk as a result of social media. Do you share this concern? We’d love to hear your thoughts about this.
Jordan Peagler: The way in which you use social media determines whether or not it is a good idea for your company. We largely use social media to keep our clients informed about changes in the law but also do more basic social media to stay in touch with past clients.
I understand the concern if you are using social media aggressively or are promoting divisive social issues, but it depends on what your company is trying to obtain by using social media. Overall, I think social media is a good way to build your brand and get client feedback.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Jordan Peagler: I think one of the most common mistakes is underestimating the time it takes to become profitable.
I think if you open a business expecting to be profitable immediately then you have done yourself a disservice. When opening a business it is wise to budget as conservatively as possible in order to account for a delay in profitability until the company hits its stride. Keeping overhead low and having a razor-tight budget are ways to give yourself the best opportunity to survive the potentially lean first months.
I think another common mistake that increases costs is over-hiring. I think a brand new company should have only the number of employees necessary to have the business run smoothly. Founders should handle as many tasks as they can before hiring employees or parting with equity by taking on investors.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Jordan Peagler: In Los Angeles and California in general, homelessness is on the rise with seemingly no end in sight. A movement geared towards not only building new affordable housing but civic training aimed at addressing substance abuse, aiding in drug rehabilitation, and providing basic education would help get people off the streets and give them the tools to then stay off the streets. I think addressing the homeless issue would have ripple effects that would decrease crime, lessen the strain on the healthcare system, and also benefit the economy overall.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!